May 2011 Update Bulletin

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The letter T!he New Phyrexia rules update is upon us, and one theme kept popping up as I worked through the last few months: history. Our game has tremendous history, stretching from the early days of wondering why Moxes were any good to the proliferation (ha!) of the new Magic media. The history of the position of rules manager is also long. Fewer than a dozen men and women have held the position (even taking into account those who held it before the term "rules manager" was in use). Going through the Oracle and Multiverse databases, you can see clearly that each one put tremendous effort into improving our game, and I hope to follow in their footsteps.

I've come to learn that being in charge of Oracle updates mean you're in charge of a lot of history. Many different forces can impact rules and templating philosophy. Consistency, clarity, brevity, and game play are all important, and they often conflict. History also plays a role, as we want to remain true to the game's early roots even as we race toward Magic's indisputably bright future. In this update we reach back and change some cards from Magic's initial release in 1993, we introduce some rules to support its latest cards in 2011, and we pay tribute to the brave Mirrans, who are definitely history.

I get the honor and pleasure of informing you about these changes, but by no means do I act alone. Again, I'd like to thank the various players and judges who have submitted cards and rules for consideration. Thanks also to my select group of rules guru ninjas... you know who you are. A special thanks to forum user adeyke for dumping about a billion cards on me for consideration. If you're on IRC, please check out the EfNet channels #mtgjudge and #mtgrules (for rules questions only). Follow me on Twitter (@TabakRules). Please tip your server. Don't tip your judge. That's probably bribery.

New Phyrexia has already been included in Gatherer. The remainder of the update is scheduled to go live on May 5. The Comprehensive Rulebook updates will follow shortly thereafter, likely before May 13. As always, the CR is going through a full editing and review process as I'm writing this, so the final results may differ from what you see here.

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